Tekamah-Herman’s track teams got the 2019 season off to a good start March 26 at the West Point-Beemer Invitational.
In one of their outings in years, the Tiger boys placed fifth against the nine-school field with 52 points. The girls scored 19 points while finishing ninth among 10 schools.
The boys were topped by Luke Wakehouse who won both the 100-meter dash and the long jump.
In his first outing of the season, Wakehouse is believed to be the first Tiger in two decade to clear 20 feet in the long jump. His winning effort of 20’ 3” was nearly half a foot better than the 19’9.75” posted by Bergan’s Jake Ridder.
Wakehouse’s winning time of 11.76 seconds was .02 faster than Chris Pinales of Archbishop Bergan and beat two other Tigers in the finals. Brandon Schram ran third at 11.87 seconds while Chauncey Rogers was fifth at 12.03
Coach Stan Mencke said he expected the team would have three good sprinters, noting that Schram was never at 100 percent last year following an injury sustained during football season. He said the senior has really responded.
“There is a lot of confidence in out 100-meter kids and it shows,” Mencke said. “There’s also a lot of potential for out 4x100 relay.”
With Cole Freidel added to the three, the group won the day with a time of 46.68 seconds. Freidel also placed third in the high jump, clearing 5’ 6”. Schram and Freidel ran four-five in teh 200 meters, timed in 25.05 and 25.47 seconds respectively.
The 4x800 relay team of Cole Bottger, Jacob Jensen, Kaleb Quick and Tyler Petersen wrapped up the T-H scoring on the track, finishing fifth in 9:50.59.
Mencke said the Tigers were close in several other events thanks to several personal best efforts, such as Alex Skinner’s 38’ 5” toss in the shot put that was less than five inches from a medal.
Mencke also cited Quick, a freshman who ran the 1,600 meters in 5:35.7; and Bottger who was seventh in the 800 with a 2:22.57 clocking.
“We did a nice job competing,” Mencke said. “You never know how that will go the first time out, it comes down to how hard do you want to push yourself, and they were willing to push themselves. That’s a great start.”
With scoring chances limited by injury, girls coach Taylor Klein said his young squad still produced good results.
Paige Reusch, one of only two seniors on the team and one of its three returning state qualifiers, strained a hamstring during the 100 meters and is likely to be out two to three weeks.
“We’re not going to push it,” Klein said. “There is a lot of season left and we want to have her at full strength for the important races at the end.”
Reusch had the second best qualifying time in the preliminaries, 13.61 seconds, but had to pull out of the finals as well as her legs on the last two races of the day, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
“I have to commend both of those two teams,” Klein said. “Paige being out meant we had to shuffle things around. They did a good job considering they had no practice time together.”
Returning state qualifiers Marissa Burt and Halle Olsen joined Anna Wakehouse and Kaitlyn Quick to run third in the 4x100 with a time of 57.45 seconds. Burt, Olsen, Wakehouse and Elena Jetensky were fourth in the 4x400, timed in 4:48.7.
That foursome also scored in the other relay, taking sixth in 12:10.56.
Burt completed her day by finishing sixth in the 100-meter hurdles, timed in 18.53 seconds after surviving a near false start. Jetensky ran sixth in the 800 at 2:55.59.
Olsen’s personal best effort of 4’ 10” in the high jump was good for fourth place.
Tekamah-Herman’s other senior, Jordan Wetzel, placed fifth in the discus, throwing 105’ 1”.
Both Tiger squads are scheduled for action Wednesday in the Malcolm Invitational. Field events are slated for a 10 a.m. start.